BUCKHANNON – Ryan Hurst and Will McCauley each scored 23 points apiece to lead the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers to an 80-64 victory over the Preston Knights in a Big 10 Conference outing Friday night at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
McCauley had a double-double as he grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his 23 points.
“Will played at a high level tonight,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Travis Foster. “Offensively, he can be extremely tough but tonight was the first night we really saw this side of him. He can be an offensive machine. Hurst does a lot for us that doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet. We told him to stop settling for the outside shot and take it to the rim. It worked tonight for him. His game is around the rim and making other players better.”
Zach White joined McCauley with a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“Zach came in with an attitude because he wasn’t happy with how he played against Lincoln,” noted Foster. “He had the mindset that he was going to control the boards and handle the inside paint. He is a machine up and down the floor.”
The 80-point offensive explosion was a welcome sight for Foster after the Bucs scored just a total of 94 points in their first two games.
The game was tight for two quarters but a 19-0 run by the Bucs in the third quarter finished off the Knights.
Despite the solid showing the Bucs came out slow once again.
Preston held a 12-4 lead after four minutes of action before McCauley and Hurst started to heat up.
McCauley had a pair of put backs and a jumper sandwiched between a Preston basket to make it an 14-8 game.
After a Preston free throw, Hurst turned in an old-fashioned three-point play after being fouled on his lay-up basket and McCauley scored two straight baskets as the Bucs deadlocked the game, at 15-15, with 90 seconds left in the first quarter.
Preston scored five straight to take a 20-15 lead but the Bucs ended the quarter on a 7-0 run as Strader scored an old-fashioned three-point play and McCauley and Hurst each put in jumpers to give the Bucs their first lead, at 22-20 at the end of the first.
Hurst scored a lay-up to increase the Bucs’ lead to 24-20, and after a three-pointer by Jaden Fultz, Josh Loudin scored in the paint to keep the Bucs ahead by three, at 26-23.
Preston scored five straight to retake the lead, but Strader scored again on an old-fashioned three and White made a free throw to return the lead back to Buckhannon-Upshur, at 30-28, with 4:15 left in the half.
A 7-4 run gave Preston a 35-34 lead, but Tyler Sandreth uncorked a trey to make it a 37-35 contest with 42 seconds remaining.
Preston’s Shane Felton made two free throws to wrap up the scoring in the first half deadlocking the game at 37-37.
The Bucs dominated the third quarter holding Preston to just six points.
Fultz started the second half with two free throws for Preston, but it was all Buckhannon after that as the Buccaneer defense held the Knights scoreless over the next seven minutes.
The Bucs then went on their 19-0 run during this time capped off by McCauley turning in an old-fashioned
three-point play for a 56-39 lead.
Buckhannon-Upshur headed into the fourth quarter with a 58-43 lead.
Preston scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to take the B-U advantage back down to 10 points, but White and McCauley put in back-to-back buckets to extend the lead back to 14, at 62-48, with two minutes gone in the fourth quarter.
Preston trimmed it down to 10 points over the next three minutes with the Bucs holding a 68-58 advantage with 3:20 remaining in the game and kept it at 10 points with B-U leading 74-64 with a minute remaining.
The Bucs closed the game out on a 6-0 run.
Preston dropped to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 10 Conference.
Preston shot the ball at just 37 percent making good on 20 of their 54 field goal attempts.
They were led by Fultz who had 19 points and Zack Shannon who scored 16.
Buckhannon-Upshur had their best shooting night of the young season making 54 percent of their shots.
Following Hurst, McCauley and White in the scoring column for the Bucs were Strader with 10 points and Loudin with six.
The Bucs are now 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big 10 Conference.
“We should have had Lincoln, I think everyone feels that way,” concluded Foster. “We are just now starting to get our mojo together. We are young and have a bunch of new parts. We just need to find the right combination each game and keep it going. I still think we are going to be tough as the season progresses. We just need to believe in each other.”
Buckhannon-Upshur will take to the road now for their next five games.
They will return to the court on Friday when they face Brooke at 8 p.m. in the Brooke Holiday Tournament.
Preston 20 17 6 21 – 64
Buckhannon-Upshur 22 15 21 22 – 80
Jayden Fultz 4-11 8-10 19; Zack Shannon 8-14 0-2 16; Nick Smith 4-13 7-10 15; Austin Metheny 3-9 0-0 9; J. C. Harris 1-3 1-2 3; Shane Felton 0-1 2-2 2; Daniel Long 0-2 0-0 0; Trenton Wolfe 0-1 0-2 0; Trevor Thomas 0-0 0-0 0; Byron Brandt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 18-28 64.
Ryan Hurst 10-16 2-3 23; Will McCauley 10-20 3-3 23; Zach White 5-7 1-2 11; Ryan Strader 4-7 2-4 10; Josh Loudin 3-5 0-0 6; Mason Hyre 2-5 0-0 4; Tyler Sandreth 1-2 0-0 3; Lamar Hurst 0-2 0-0 0; Noam Keith 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-65 8-12 80.
Three-point field goals – Preston: Metheny 3-6; Fultz 3-8; Smith 0-3; Harris 0-1. Totals 6-18; Buckhannon-Upshur: Sandreth 1-2; R. Hurst 1-5; McCauley 0-4; Hyre 0-1; L. Hurst 0-1; Keith 0-1. Totals 2-14.
Rebounds – Preston: Smith 7; Shannon 6; deadball 6; team 5; Metheny 4; Brandt 2; Harris 1; Felton 1. Totals 32; Buckhannon-Upshur: White 11; McCauley 10; Strader 8; Hyre 4; Loudin 4; team 3; Keith 2; R. Hurst 1; Sandreth 1; L. Hurst 1; deadball 1. Totals 46.
Assists – Preston: Fultz 5; Smith 4; Shannon 2; Metheny 2; Wolfe 1; Brandt 1; Felton 1. Totals 16; Buckhannon-Upshur: McCauley 6; Hyre 4; R. Hurst 3; Strader 2; L. Hurst 1; Loudin 1. Totals 17.
Steals – Preston: Fultz 4; Metheny 3; Shannon 2; Brandt 1; Smith 1; Long 1. Totals 12; Buckhannon-Upshur: Strader 2; R. Hurst 1; McCauley 1; White 1; Loudin 1. Totals 6.
Blocked shots – Preston: Smith 1; Metheny 1; Harris 1. Totals 3; Buckhannon-Upshur: McCauley 2; Strader 1; Loudin 1. Totals 4.
Turnovers – Preston: 11; Buckhannon-Upshur: 16.
Personal fouls – Preston: 17; Buckhannon-Upshur: 23.